Anglican Morning Devotion for 6 February 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; 11Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: 12Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. 13Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. 14He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. 15Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 16For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.” (Psalms 107:10-16; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; 24These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. 25For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 26They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 27They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. 28Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. 29He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. 30Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.” (Psalms 107:23-30)
The Holy Scriptures provide abundant space to the mysteries and similes the ocean seas and her dangers. The Sea is the largest cemetery of the dead known to man. Just as many will be surprised to see who is admitted to Heaven on the last day, so, too, will many be shocked to see who is cast into the depths of the gaping abyss on that day.
The Church is much like that ship of the soul. Like great sea-going vessels of the past, there are many different sizes, types, and descriptions of the Church. The True Church is singular in nature meaning all of its various organs are of the same Mind with Christ. But there do exist churches (so-called) that deviate from the Word and Will of God in their living, in their testimony, and in their twisted doctrine that is at odds with Scripture itself.
The sea transport used by the disciples on the Sea of Galilee meant be hard-pressed to meet the standards of a modern-day sea-going vessel. These were small sailboats made of timber that would rarely accommodate more than twelve to fifteen passengers. But these were dependable because they were the essence of simplicity – just as preaching should be to the Church. God’s Word is simple enough for a child to grasp. The challenge is in the application of its meaning to our daily lives.
Today, an order of churchianity that has arisen that boasts of size over truth. Many modern churches even conduct ‘market research’ to discover what manner of preaching or entertainment will appeal to the unchurched in order to get them in for the fleecing.
As I have written in previous devotions, a ship is made for the water. It anchors in secure harbors for loading goods and passengers for transport across vast reaches of the sea. That is the function for what it is made. It is guided by navigation systems that are nearly fool-proof. In ancient times, it was the stars. Later, the magnetic compass. Today, navigation aids include gyros and GPS system navigation. But the latter is not really more accurate than the celestial navigation of old unless the stars are hidden by an overcast.
The safe harbors of the Church are its base of operations in a stationary church setting where logistics and training can be provided. Its ocean seas are the great multitudes of nations, tongues and people to which its missionaries may be sent – even to the family next door. It is not a revenue collection site though many sacrifice their treasure to provide a means for its mission.
There was a great ship called the RMS Titanic of the last century. It was touted as unsinkable and the largest passenger liner ever built. It was the pride of the merchant class of mariners. The Titanic carried a manifested passenger list of 2,224 men, women, and children. Departing Southampton on April 12, 1912, the Titanic (remember- unsinkable) struck and iceberg in the North Atlantic near the midnight hour on 14 April and sank at 2:20 A.M. on 15 April 1912 less than two hours from the strike. Only 710 passengers (less than a third) survived. The others road the great vessel to the depths of the ocean bed as she broke apart and foundered.
There are many so-called mega-churches today that boast of their accomplishments in wealth, prestige and membership. Hopefully, more than one third of the adherents of these mega-churches will survive the coming fires of the last day. “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,. . . 16I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Rev 3:15-17)